Researchers at Marquette University say they have developed a first-of-its kind computer program that can measure bite characteristics.
They say their work could lead to a database of bite characteristics that could narrow down suspects and lend more scientific weight to bite-mark testimony.
"The naysayers are saying, 'You can throw all this out. It's junk science. It's voodoo. This is a bunch of boobs that are causing a lot of problems and heartaches for people,' " said team leader Dr. L. Thomas Johnson, a forensic dentist who helped identify victims of the cannibalistic Milwaukee serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.
"It's a valid science if it's done properly."
Built around the assumption that every person's teeth are unique, forensic dentistry has used bite impressions to identify criminals for 40 years.